France is working with the FAO to help it achieve its strategic objectives
France has always played a prominent role in international institutions. Today, the fight against food insecurity and the preservation of agriculture is one of the strategic priorities for France on the international scene. Recently, the FAO and France through the intermediary of the CIRAD and Agreenium public institutes began a partnership in food science and technology in order to contribute to achieving the FAO’s strategic objectives1.
Innovation and research closely affect the future of global food security for a population that will exceed 9 billion people by 2050. Without a significant improvement in productivity and yields, without agricultural innovation and finally without the regulation of global agricultural markets, it will not be possible to increase agricultural production by 70% by 2050, a crucial goal for ensuring global food security according to the UN.
Moreover, this new strategic cooperation between France and the FAO cannot be fully realized without reinforcing global governance, notably through a better coordination of the policies pursued by the various countries on this issue, the sharing of information and greater transparency at an international level, necessary but by no means sufficient conditions. Assessment tools and specific monitoring should be developed in order to assess the effectiveness of policies in the fight against food insecurity at local and international levels, as well as their impact on national and global economic efficiency.
momagri Editorial Board
FAO and French research institutions will step up cooperation in key research areas and coordinate their actions within the global framework of FAO’s renewed strategy. Two agreements signed today cover a broad spectrum of joint activities, including agro-ecology, biodiversity, animal health, food loss, agrarian reforms and genetic resources, which will contribute to FAO’s Strategic Objectives.
FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, Agreenium President Marion Guillou, and International Cooperation Center in Agronomic Research for Development (CIRAD) President Michel Eddi signed the agreements during a visit of a high-level French delegation to FAO headquarters.
The agreements aim to strengthen and develop a more coordinated approach between the French agri-food science and technology community and FAO.
“Today we are witnessing what a solid partnership can achieve – aligning common efforts towards common goals. FAO is very pleased to collaborate with the Government of France in furthering the work on key scientific areas, which are critical for food security and for achieving our strategic objectives,” said Graziano da Silva at the signing ceremony.
Agreenium, established as a public institution of scientific cooperation, brings together the top French research and higher education institutions within the areas of agriculture, food, animal health and environment. It includes the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Cirad, Agrocampus Ouest, AgroParisTech, Montpellier SupAgro, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, AgroSup Dijon and Bordeaux Sciences Agro.
CIRAD, a founding member of Agreenium, contributes to rural development through research and experimental initiatives mainly in agriculture, animal sciences, forestry and food. It has a global network of partners and 12 regional offices all over the globe, from which it conducts joint operations with more than 90 countries on six priority lines of research: ecological intensification; biomass; animal health; access to food; public policy; and agriculture environment and societies.
"Agreenium is a platform that will facilitate FAO the cooperation with research institutes such as INRA and CIRAD - and higher education bodies within the area of agrosciences. The challenge is to intensify efforts for better food security and nutrition", said Guillou.
France’s commitment against hunger and malnutrition
French institutions have approached FAO in order to develop a concerted collaboration more in line with FAO’s renewed strategic framework.
Further to this, Frances hopes to provide its support to FAO in achieving its strategic objectives by collaborating through research and its network of partners worldwide.
This strong initiative on the part of France is a commitment to FAO and to the eradication of hunger and malnutrition.
Under the terms of the agreement, FAO, Agreenium and CIRAD will share knowledge, conduct joint collaboration studies and coordinate their participation at worldwide initiatives such as the G20 initiative Platform for Tropical Agriculture, Save Food Initiative, the Worldwide Agricultural Watch, amongst others, and produce joint publications in either generalist or scientific journals.
This agreement will also facilitate the exchange of personnel from both institutions to FAO headquarters or field projects and vice versa for missions or short-term training. In the case of Agreenium and CIRAD, personnel may be mobilized for the benefit of FAO in order to allow team supervision and traineeship within field projects and other activities.
The collaboration of FAO, Agreenium and CIRAD also foresees promotion of meetings, seminars, conferences, consultation of experts, and events.
These agreements fall under a broader framework agreement between FAO and France, signed in 2012 that strengthens scientific and technical cooperation between French universities and research institutions and FAO.
1 The full text of the FAO story is available from http://www.fao.org//partnerships/news-article/en/c/213547/